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Feature removed: We decided to remove the ‘delete my own thread’ button, as it has caused some problems. Beyond that only a few of you have used it. We will get back to you in early 2009 with other measures to improve the quality.

Many of you have complained that there are numerous open, unanswered and/ or repetitive questions in the expert forums which lower their quality.

Currently we have 1,061,042 threads =  questions with more than 4,500K posts.

 

  • 360k questions are marked as closed / solved
  • 323K are open 
  • 120K do not have a single reply

The remaining amount are either marked as ‘possibly_resolved’ or ‘assumed_resolved’.

That is why we developed the new ‘delete’ feature to help with forum cleanup.

We want to start an initiative to clean up our threads! Let’s clean up any thread which is not answered properly or contains comments, which indicate that it has a repetitive topic.

HOW CAN I DO MY PART?

Go into the forums and click on ‘Your Questions’ to see the complete list of all your questions, sorted by ‘resolved’ and ‘unresolved’.

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Click on a question and press the delete button.

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Ideally you are able to reduce the unresolved questions to zero. Please leave only questions which are not older than 2 weeks, open.  Go over all your threads, even those you have marked ‘answered’, especially if you marked them answered in order to cope with the limitation of 10 open questions.

Please note that as soon as you have provided points for a question you cannot delete it anymore, and threads in Community Discussions and Community User Groups are not targeted by this initiative.

I’ll keep you informed about the progress and report the numbers on a weekly basis. Let’s go for a quantum jump and try to cut off 50% of the open questions!

I urge you to take action and help us improve our forum quality!

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24 Comments

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    1. Robert Briese
      Hi Rohit,

      I don’t think the goal is to reach a stage where the SCN forum consists of only unanswered questions.
      In my opinion the forum is full with answered threads that provide extremely valuable information and it would be a great loss to lose all this information. The problem is that there are also a lot of threads with no valuable content at all, like the questions mentioned by Michael that have been closed with no answer, in order to get rid of the limitation of only 10 open questions.
      @Michael: Looks like your point did not came through that clear. Maybe you want to mark in bold the statement that only unresolved questions or questions that have been marked resolved without having an answer should be deleted.
      I very much appreciate the initiative and hope that everyone gets the message right and helps improving the quality in the forums and not decreases the quality be deleting threads with valuable information!

      Best regards,
      Robert

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  1. Santhosh Kumar Vellingiri
    This is good one that facilitates every individual to sanitize the SDN forum. I have already deleted 3 of my 6 threads and this completes 100% from my part.
    I suggest that one should not delete any thread, which is marked answered, and points was not awarded to any one, however holding a solution that he/she has updated. These threads will definitely cater some ones query down the days.
    (0) 
    1. Michael Schwandt Post author
      Perfect, I hope others will follow you. Regarding deletion of answered forums we only want these to be deleted, which have been marked ‘answered’ to cope with the 10 open questions limit.
      (0) 
  2. Anton Wenzelhuemer
    I think this is an interesting development from a theoretical point of view about the way forums work.

    the ability for the original poster (OP)to delete whole threads implies that the thread and the whole knowledge and discussion that accrues from the original question *belongs* to the OP.

    this means for example that I could delete *my*(?) well visited Sticky Thread: Funny threads? in CC as well as someone else could simply delete *his*(?) or *her*(?) famous and precious thread on BI or PI or wherever.

    looking forward how this cleanup evolves…

    anton

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    1. Anton Wenzelhuemer
      another thing that comes to my mind is linking. how is this supposed to be done when you can never be sure if the link still exists the next day?

      although it is abused some times (‘link farms’) linking is one essence of the web, actually that’s why they called it web rather than string.

      but in the future instead of linking to an interesting additional thread one better cites (Copy&Paste) that thread because only that way you can guarantee with some certainty not to produce a broken link (404).

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    2. Michael Schwandt Post author
      hi Anton, this approach implies / expects some discipline & respect from members. In case the question has been sufficiently answered the OP should have closed it + parallel provided points. In that case the delete button does not work, as only questions with no points can be deleted. As many OPs have closed their questions to cope with the limit of 10 open questions we expect these closed but not suffiently answered questions to be deleted too. Threads in Community Discussions and Community User Groups are not targeted by this initiative.
      (0) 
      1. Anton Wenzelhuemer
        hello michael,

        Threads in Community Discussions and Community User Groups are not targeted by this initiative.

        I’ve just been deleting the following thread in CC which I owned:

        /thread/1008529 [original link is broken]

        It had 1525 views and 16 replies. I considered it (for testing purposes) not of interest anymore while it contained some information on ID transferral which others might have considered to be interesting.

        My point is: just because I want it to have removed (because I want to erase traces of my lacking knowledge or simply don’t understand the answers or whatever), others might consider the information already given to be relevant already.
        I think – if anybody – moderators or editors should delete threads.

        anton

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  3. Julius von dem Bussche
    Unless there are performance problems caused by the number of threads… I don’t like this at all.

    There are many people who abuse the forums and the efforts of others, and now they can hide their tracks.

    They can even delete the thread if it has been locked by a moderator (for investigation) and I am sure that folks will work out in no time how to game the points system by using a second session…

    Possibly a good idea for questions with no answers at all, but otherwise a very bad idea if you ask me…

    My 2 cents (and I just added 14 points to myself => party time!!! :-),

    Julius

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  4. Julius von dem Bussche
    Once a point or two is assigned (or the thread is closed – also by a moderator) the person can unmark the question, remove all the points and then delete the whole lot.

    All round bad idea to add a little feature for a small number of abusers to take the piss out of all the rest of us.

    When the Abuse Reports were introduced, we caught a few points gamers who were reporting their own threads in the attempt (hope) that this would make the thread invisible or remove some of their mistakes.

    They are going to have a field day now… πŸ™‚

    I hope that it is possible to remove this feature until it is more thoroughly tested.

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  5. Amit Gujargoud
    “Please note that as soon as you have provided points for a question you cannot delete it anymore”

    ….but what if the crazy people (at least me) unassigned the points first than delete? Even though the answers were enough helpful.
    In this way might be we would lost so me good information (Replies).

    I’m just thinking why people opened the thread if they are going to delete right after (2/3 days)?Okay as you are saying this (Delete button) would helpful if we would not getting enough replies or some abuse, than only we should push delete button.
    …..Than what the job left (apart from edit replies & Thread/user locked) for moderators if almost everything (At least delete option) rights you give us?

    ….can’t we make automated process for deleting only threads which didn’t got single reply?

    Just my 2 dollars πŸ™‚

    Cheers

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    1. Julius von dem Bussche
      “….can’t we make automated process for deleting only threads which didn’t got single reply?”

      I agree with that, only.

      Even so, the person can cross-post (already a problem) and once they have put the pieces together, then delete parts of the puzzle.

      This is already hard to detect – but we have been getting better and faster at it.

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    2. Amit Gujargoud
      Strongly agreed too.
      “120K do not have a single reply”
      With this way 120K questions would be automatically deleted πŸ™‚ which is far better than giving rights to users.

      Now Slightly away from topic πŸ™‚
      Julius why my name is appearing like ‘ÃοΏ½mit Güjärgoüd’ in only replies of blog?Any idea?

      Cheers

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      1. Michael Schwandt Post author
        this would be some kind of incapacitation and is not the kind of community we are running. Open means enabling everybody to collaborate and taking the risk of misuse, and only fight the most serious and almost illegal actions.

        Being open is definitely not the easy way, but it has proven it’s value for all

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      2. Julius von dem Bussche
        “Julius why my name is appearing like ‘ÃοΏ½mit Güjärgoüd’ in only replies of blog?Any idea?”
        That is what happens when you pepper-spray yourself… πŸ™‚
        (copyright PK)
        (0) 
  6. Eric Cartman
    “Please note that as soon as you have provided points for a question you cannot delete it anymore”

    I was able to remove points and when all points are removed the thread can be deleted as well!

    Is it a bug or a feature? πŸ™‚

    thanks
    ec

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    1. Michael Schwandt Post author
      removing points is a feature and available for a long tiome.  ‘Misusers’ who un-assign points to delete the threat will loose the 1 point they earned (by assigning points). Dear moderators pls discuss this in the moderators’s forum.
      (0) 
  7. YUNUS KALDIRIM
    Let’s look from another side. Why the questions are open and not answered? In most cases “hard questions” or “non answerable questions” are left on open. And SAP wants delete all these spesific threads. I believe these questions are really important. Neither OSS nor forum has any solution on the question. My opinion is SAP or contributors have to look top unsolved threads.

    On another side questioner has solved the problem itself.But didn’t share on the forum. We need a new development in the forum about how to collect solutions of the unanswered but solved questions.

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  8. J. Heeck
    Like Anton stated, this mechanism makes OP the owner of the thread whereas I think the thread is owned by all its contributors. Not one person should be able to veto a thread unless he/she is a moderator.

    I would like to propose a delete button to be available only on threads/posts with no replies at all. This still allows you to clear out ‘slips of the keyboard’ yourself without bothering a mod.

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  9. Matthew Billingham
    When you are following Michael’s suggestions, you might well mark some questions as answered, and give helpful responses some points.  That’s great.  But when you mark a question as “answered” PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – unless your response gives some added value – DON’T MAKE A RESPONSE, like thanks, or closed.  It’s not obligatory.

    If you do give a response, then we end up with a load of quite old posts suddenly at the top of the forum.  New questions disappear onto 2nd and subsequent pages… and I spend my Sunday afternoon clearing up. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for your understanding

    matt

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  10. kishan P
    Feature removed: We decided to remove the ‘delete my own thread’ button, as it has caused some problems. Beyond that only a few of you have used it. We will get back to you in early 2009 with other measures to improve the quality.

    I like this Update, though I made hay while the sun shone. Managed to delete few of my earlier newbie/useless questions πŸ™‚
    Though the idea was a good, I feel it would be misused by a “majority” of them, to “cover-up” their crimes.

    But if someone can add a feature where if theres a reply given to a particular thread, then that thread could not be deleted, that would indeed help in clearing that 120K posts. This could also be done at the SCN server side on a mass-grave basis.

    pk

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